THE ANGRY OLD MAN

RELIGION IN SCHOOLS

 

HOME

INTRO

HUMOR

ESSAY

COMMENTS

PREV.

NEXT

A NEW APPROACH FOR TEACHING RELIGION 
IN SCHOOLS.
     Instead of pushing for bible studies in schools, or 
forcing science teachers to teach creation as a science 
we should be teaching studies in comparative religion.
This so that the young can get a balanced and true picture 
of what religion is. Not what is correct or which one is 
the true religion, but an understanding what each religion 
teaches. Show them how and why various religions believe
as they do.
     In conjunction with this comparative religion class there 
should be a class on ethics. Show why we act in a certain 
way, where our ethics come from, why they have lasted 
over the years and how they affect each of us. Help them
to understand the role religion plays in our ethical makeup.
When they look at the reasons behind our laws and traditions,
many of the traits they now laugh at in others, become 
reasonable, not laughable. 
     A proper presentation of these two subjects would 
increase our understanding of other religions and cultures 
and help instill a respect for other beliefs. Respect for 
others is a major requirement for earning respect for 
yourself. A side effect may just be a decline in wars,
as most wars are fought over religious differences.
    But a major stumbling block to such an understanding
or to showing the young students an unbiased picture 
is the "rightness" of many religions. They believe that to 
accept any other religions beliefs as being possible will 
be seen as a weakness in their own concept of "absolute 
rightness" in their own particular belief.
Then we have the fundamentalist faction of many religions.
 
To the fundamentalist, Christian or otherwise, any thing 
that is not in their beliefs is wrong. There is no grounds
for discussion or acceptance. It's there way or no way.
That's why that throughout man's history, someplace in 
the world is constantly at war and fighting is going on over 
this difference in what is God's word.
A FEW OF MY PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS
 1. Lawyers and Preachers are the two most useless 
and unnecessary professions on the face of the earth. 
Both are self-sustaining, thrive on the pain and hardship 
of others which, more often than not,  are induced by 
others in those two professions.
 2. I don't know if it's learnt or in our genes, but we 
don't want to hear the truth if it doesn't make us feel 
good. Ronald Reagan's popularity proved this.
 3. When someone claims they talked to God, we look 
at them in awe,  accept it, praise them and sometimes 
worship them. Let someone claim they saw a UFO and 
we make fun of them and call them liars.
 4. It seems to me to be very small minded and 
self-centered to claim that we are the only beings in 
the whole universe or that we are special. Earth is a 
small body circling a minor star on the fringe of an 
ordinary  galaxy.
 5. The very people who reject and ridicule reports 
of UFO's, etc. are often the very ones who will accept 
and praise a TV preacher who proclaims God spoke 
to him.
 6. Understanding each other, let alone those of another
culture or language, becomes difficult because of the
sloppy way we use languages. Our use of slang, or regional
habits of speech can causes difficulties. Our perceptions
of what a word means can cause difficulties.   
For example, we often say we know something when we 
should say we believe, we feel, we think, we assume, we 
accept.
 7. To follow the true course of rightness one has to be 
willing to be wrong. Those who are the most certain of their 
rightness have the highest probability of being wrong.
 
There are hundreds of books and thousands of 
Internet sites with information on religion, both in 
general and specific. It's very easy to become over-
whelmed with the sheer volume of material. It's
also very hard to separate the good from the bad. 
One thing that I'm sure of, if the material is written 
or supported by a particular religion or faction of a 
religion, then the material will be bias in favor of 
that religion or faction. It may offer good information,
but to get a balanced and true perspective of the 
subject, read other books and material. You will be 
surprised how the same thing can be said by 
opposing sides with totally different results.
One book I found helpful was "HOW THE GREAT 
RELIGIONS BEGAN" by Joseph Gaer. Others that have 
influenced me are:
SCIENCE AND CREATIONISM by Ashley Montagu
BEGINNINGS by Isaac Asimov
I. ASIMOV: A MEMOIR by Isaac Asimov
THE SOURCE by Art Bell & Brad Steiger
I am also an avid reader of science fiction. I like 
science fiction, not only because I enjoy the stories 
and they are entertaining, but they ask the same 
questions I do, WHAT IF...!